In a dramatic split vote, the Mass Gaming Commission this afternoon decided 3-2 to provisionally award the single available slots casino license offered up by the state to the Plainville/Penn National proposal over the Leominster/Cordish proposal. A third proposal under consideration, Raynham, received no votes.
The Commission had earlier conferred surrounding community status to Bolton, citing the “significant and adverse traffic impact” to the town if the Leominster casino were to be approved. As a result, the town was able to negotiate an impact agreement with the casino developer that would have provided some monetary and services compensation in recognition of the expected traffic and public safety impact. Conservative estimates suggested that a Leominster casino would have added more than 500,000 vehicle trips annually through town on a road already in failure mode during peak commuter hours.
In our opinion it is very good news that the casino will be located in Plainville and not Leominster.